27 Sep 2021
Iceland and Norway are the first countries associated to Horizon Europe
On 24 September 2021, Iceland and Norway became the first two countries to be formally associated to Horizon Europe. Association enables entities in the associated countries to participate in Horizon Europe under the same conditions as entities from EU Member States. The Joint Committee of the European Economic Area (EEA), composed of representatives of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and the EU, adopted the relevant Decision on Friday, which makes them the first to be associated to Horizon Europe. The European Commission stresses that this is an opportunity to continue and deepen cooperation in science, research and innovation between EU Member states and these two countries, focusing on common priorities: the twin green and digital transition, public health and Europe's competitiveness in the global landscape. Joint efforts will aim to address environmental problems in the Arctic, develop hydrogen and carbon capture technologies, boost data-driven innovation, and more. This early association also enables these partners to get involved from the outset in the European Partnerships. Both Iceland and Norway have a long history of association to the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation, starting in 1987 for Norway and 1994 for Iceland.
This cooperation underlines the importance of the EEA Agreement, which enables full participation of the EEA States in the EU's internal market and provides the basis for cooperation in other areas including research, technological development, environment and culture. Horizon Europe is one of the main tools to implement Europe's strategy for international cooperation, 'Europe's global approach to cooperation in research and innovation'. Negotiations are ongoing with many more non-EU countries that have expressed interest to become associated to Horizon Europe.
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